13/07/2012 Newswatch


13/07/2012

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Now it is time for Newswatch. This week, viewers' questions about

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Welcome to Newswatch. Later, should Andy Murray's semi-final victory at

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Wimbledon have displaced the local news? First, the top could debate

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programme Question Time has been a staple of the BBC One schedule for

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years. The format is simple - with a

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stupor and -- studio audience putting questions to a panel

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typically consisting of politicians from the three major parties, along

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with two others. One of the others last week was John Lydon,

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previously known as Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols. You do agree

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that a crime has been committed? The former punk rocker's appears

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It was iffy. This is not the first time Question Time guests have

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raised controversy. Pop stars have appeared before. That is what turns

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people off politics. As have comedians. They are allowed to

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strike! And newspaper journalists. They are the most disloyal

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creatures ever. And the winners of reality TV shows. I don't have a �2

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million house. The appearance of Katie Hopkins aroused the ire at

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Apology for the loss of subtitles for 51 seconds

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Some viewers have wondered how the Achieving the right balance in the

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audience and on the panel has been the goal of Question Time

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throughout its 33 years on air, but has that goal been achieved? To

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face the public's questions today, I am joined by the executive

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producer of Question Time, Steve Anderson. What was your thinking

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behind putting Johnny Rotten on Question Time? Is he a Question

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Time person? The Sex Pistols and Johnny Rotten had legendary status.

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A lot of our audience will remember that. We thought it would be good

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to get him on in the programme leading up to the Queen's jubilee.

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We found out he was a big Question Time fan, but could not make it

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that week. He had a gig booked. But we talked about maybe getting him

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on to another show, and he could do this date, so that was how it came

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about. Another of the US says the BBC likes provocative questions,

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extreme guests and aggressive presenters. You like stirring

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things up. Was Johnny Rotten almost too well-behaved for your liking?

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Interestingly, some of the people who have criticised his performance

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almost wanted him to give a torrent of abuse and have me fired at the

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end of the show. Because that did not happen, they were disappointed.

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You have had pop stars and people from reality shows. Is that

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designed it to attract a younger audience? It is designed to broaden

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the appeal of the programme as much as possible. Over the years,

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particularly since we went to a fifth panellist on the show, we

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have broadened the franchise of the programme. There was a feeling that

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it was becoming too much a prisoner of Westminster and that if it was

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just dominated by politicians, they could all understand each other,

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but it was excluding a large part of the audience. The beauty of

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Question Time is that it brings in a broader audience and shines a

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light on what is going on at Westminster. Having these

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independent, freewheeling, outspoken people helps broaden the

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franchise. In is there a danger that sometimes, they might not be

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as well-informed as your average member? That can happen. Everybody

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who comes on the programme has been spoken to at length by our team, at

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least two research concessions to find out if they are clued-up

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enough on the stories of the day and have something to add. On this

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occasion, Johnny Rotten, or rather John Lydon, came out on three

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separate occasions with good points. He had things to say about the

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LIBOR scandal. He had a very provocative thing to say about the

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legalisation of drugs and took the audience on over the year Brady

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case. It was informed political stuff. We have had other people on

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who, when it has come to the crunch, the nerves have got to them, which

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is understandable. Even Johnny Rotten said it was the biggest gig

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he had ever had. One political question from a viewer. He wants to

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know why, in the days of a coalition, why you still give a

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separate lot for both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems? He

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says that on balances things and they should only have one of them.

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Are all in different territory with the coalition government. But the

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next election will be fought by the three parties individually. They

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are still three separate parties. And as with last week, if we have a

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minister on who is a Liberal Democrat, we will seek to have a

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more independent, free-thinking Conservative backbencher on the

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programme. We do not seek to put on a Lib Dem minister and a

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Conservative minister. We will put on a minister from one of the

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parties and a backbencher from one of the other parties. If we didn't

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do that, we would be in danger of under representing one of the major

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political parties in the UK. viewer complained about rows of

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lefties in the audience. How do you choose the audience, and what sort

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of balance do you try to achieve? Were do achieve balance. Each

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member of the audience is spoken to by the audience research team, and

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their voting intentions are recorded. Their past voting record

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is recorded, and they are compiled with that in mind. We have a fair

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proportion of Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrats and other

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minority party voters. Now, what else has got the

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attention of BBC News viewers this week? Wimbledon aficionados can

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shelve their hopes of a British men's singles winner for another

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year. After the disappointment came the

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painful public display. The support has been incredible, so thank you.

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But before we forget the triumph and tears of Marray and Murray,

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here is a parting shot on the decision to show Murray's semi-

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final on BBC One instead of the And the complaints continued beyond

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It has been a week of technical problems for the BBC's internet

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services. A major technical issue let the website down on Wednesday

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evening. The iPlayer also went off line, while for a couple of days,

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the website selection of the day's was popular stories actually showed

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material that was a month old. Alex Wilson was one of those

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The BBC apologise for the problem, which was fixed by Thursday.

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For finally, it was goodbye this week to one bastion of BBC News,

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Bush House. Until now, the home of the BBC World Service. The service,

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which has programmes in 28 languages, has been broadcast from

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the imposing building in central London since 1941. Now the BBC is

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moving out and into a new extension of Broadcasting House, a mile or

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two away, where Newswatch will also move after next week. This was the

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final sign-off from Bush House on Thursday. So, the World Service and

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the news goes on, just not from here. From Bush House, that is the

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And it is goodbye from us, too. Thanks for your comments this week.

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